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The Clever Pill

Thursday 9 February 2012, 19.00-20.30


Listen to an edited recording of this event. Download the MP3.

Pills to make you smarter may be here, but should we use them? Ritalin may improve focus and memory for everyone, not just children with attention deficit disorder. It is one of several ‘smart drugs’ said to be in common use on university campuses and other environments where a competitive edge can come from improved cognitive ability. The range of cognitive enhancements available is set to widen through drugs and other forms of medical intervention. But are they safe? Will they create a more unequal society? Will they be forced upon people? Do they in some deep sense violate our true, human nature, or are we at the dawn of a brave new world of smarter, more productive populations where humans can more fully achieve their potential?


James Rowe, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science

Bennett Foddy, Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Martin School's Institute for Science and Ethics

Simon Wessely, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College


Claudia Hammond, Presenter, BBC Radio 4

This event was part of our series on neuroethics.

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